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Sometimes, the impact of these experiences lasted for years and other times they faded soon after returning to business-as-usual.  While there are parallels in all of these experiences, the astronaut in space is of particular interest because it is so prominent, so bold, so captivating. 

Blocks to the Overview Effect

When we talk about transcendence or the Overview Effect, we describe the experience as best we can.  The words we use are abstractions and rarely, if ever, capture the vibrational essence and complexity of what’s actually happening in the moment.  Turning the above proposition on its head, it struck me that the ‘Effect’ might come about as a result what wasn’t there in the first place, that released the experience of transcendence.

Consider that the Overview Effect is evidence of the fabled ‘interconnectedness of all things’ and present awareness of that interconnectedness releases immense energy.  Consider further that certain blockages in human nature and in cultural imperatives prevent the Overview Effect from being experienced in life and work, much or most of the time.

To identify some of these blockages, I contemplated on images and videos of astronauts in space, listened to first-person accounts, and imagined what it was like.  I then asked myself, “What was not there, not present, and therefore not preventing the experience of the Overview Effect?”

Was this the limiting context, or the ‘Space of Possibility’ that allowed the Overview Effect to manifest and to be experienced?

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